Which cooking method is the safest in terms of health issues? Frying, roasting or baking? Maybe one is safer than the other but all of them generate a byproduct called acrylamide.
The substance was first detected in foods on April 2002. FAO and WHO joint committee, in 2010, recognized it as health concern, thereby recommended it for long thorough studies. Under study and monitoring by EFSA and US FDA. It is neurotoxic and may cause cancer. Initial studies found out it can cause cancer to animals at very high doses.
The federal limit for acrylamide is about 0.12 micrograms per 8 ounce glass of water. A six ounce serving of french fries may have up to 60 micrograms. Up to five hundred times more than set limit.
Where can it be found? In nearly all brown food stuff including coffee, bread, chips and breakfast cereals.
It is formed when food is heated to develop a dry brown surface, our favorite term golden brown. It forms at temperature 100C and above.
Commodities of concerns are starchy foods which are deep fried, roasted or baked. Boiling and steaming is safe from acrylamide formation.
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Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Accepts coaching and consultancy services. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines.